Next Irish general election

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Next Irish general election
Republic of Ireland
2016 ←
On or before 12 April 2021
outgoing members ←

157 of 158 seats in Dáil Éireann
80 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
  Enda Kenny 2015 (cropped).jpg Micheál Martin 2015 (cropped).jpg Gerry Adams 2016 (cropped).jpg
Leader Enda Kenny Micheál Martin Gerry Adams
Party Fine Gael Fianna Fáil Sinn Féin
Leader since 2 June 2002 26 January 2011 13 November 1983[nb 1]
Leader's seat Mayo Cork South-Central Louth
Last election 50 seats, 25.5% 44 seats, 24.3% 23 seats, 13.8%
Current seats 50[n 1] 43[n 2] 23

  Brendan Howlin TD - Labour Party.jpg No image.svg No image.svg
Leader Brendan Howlin
Party Labour Party AAA–PBP Independents 4 Change
Leader since 20 May 2016
Leader's seat Wexford
Last election 7 seats, 6.6% 6 seats, 3.9% 4 seats, 1.5%
Current seats 7 6 4

  Roisin Shortall Catherine Murphy and Social Democrats.jpg Eamon Ryan Green Party.jpg
Leader Catherine Murphy
Róisín Shortall
Eamon Ryan
Party Social Democrats Green Party
Leader since 15 July 2015 27 May 2011
Leader's seat Kildare North
Dublin North-West
Dublin Bay South
Last election 3 seats, 3.0% 2 seats, 2.7%
Current seats 2 2

Incumbent Taoiseach

Enda Kenny
Fine Gael



The next Irish general election will be held in Ireland on or before Monday, 12 April 2021. The election will be called following the dissolution of the 32nd Dáil by the President, at the request of the Taoiseach. At stake will be 157 of 158 seats in the Dáil Éireann, the Ceann Comhairle being re-elected automatically unless he opts to retire from the Dáil.

Electoral system[edit]

The 158 members of the Dáil will be elected in 40 multi-member constituencies, each with between three and five seats, using the single transferable vote system in which voters rank candidates on their ballot papers. When the ballot papers are counted, an electoral quota is created by dividing the number of valid votes by the number of seats, plus one.

Any candidate receiving a number of votes exceeding the quota is elected. If fewer candidates reach the quota than the number of seats to be filled, the last-placed candidate is removed from the count and the second or subsequent preferences on those ballot papers are redistributed until a candidate is elected. If such a candidate now has more votes than the quota, their surplus is given to other candidates in order of ranking on the ballot papers.

This is repeated until sufficient candidates have passed the quota to fill the available seats[1] or where a seat remains to be filled in a constituency and no candidate is capable of achieving a quota as there is nobody left to eliminate for a distribution then the highest place candidate without a quota is deemed elected at that point.

Constituency Commission 2016–17[edit]

A Constituency Commission convened in July 2016 as per the provisions of the Electoral Act 1997,[2] and under the Chairpersonship of Judge Robert Haughton to redraw constituency boundaries after publication of initial population data from Census 2016.[3] Until such time as this commission reports in mid 2017 the number of seats will continue to be 158 in 40 constituencies but thereafter the number of seats to be filled in any future election will increase in line with population increases since 2011 and will be increased to c.163 or 164 seats in line with population increases of 170,000 since the last commission report in 2012.

The commission has some discretion but is constitutionally bound to allow no more than a 30,000 population ratio per elected member and is by convention constrained not to breach 'traditional' county boundaries save in rare cases, even if this leads to slight over-representation.[4][5]

Background[edit]

Latest possible date[edit]

The next general election cannot be held later than Monday 12 April 2021. This date is determined as follows:

Law Requirement Comments
Constitution: Section 16.5[6] The same Dáil Éireann shall not continue for a longer period than seven years from the date of its first meeting: a shorter period may be fixed by law. A shorter period is fixed by law through the Electoral Act, 1992.
Electoral Act, 1992: Section 33[7] The same Dáil shall not continue for a longer period than five years from the date of its first meeting. The Dáil resulting from the 2016 election first met on 10 March 2016. Five years after 10 March 2016 is 10 March 2021.
Electoral Act, 1992: Section 96[8] (1) A poll at a Dáil election— (a) shall be taken on such day as shall be appointed by the Minister by order, being a day which (disregarding any excluded day) is not earlier than the seventeenth day or later than the twenty-fifth day next following the day on which the writ or writs for the election is or are issued. 25 days after 10 March 2021, disregarding excluded days, is 12 April 2021.
Excluded days are:
  • Sundays – 14, 21, 28 March and 4 April
  • Public holidays – 17 March and 5 April
  • Good Friday – 2 April
Electoral Act, 1992: Section 2[9] (1) In this Act— "excluded day" means a day which is a Sunday, Good Friday or a day which is declared to be a public holiday by the Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973 , or a day which by virtue of a statute or proclamation is a public holiday;

Opinion polls[edit]

Last date
of polling
Polling firm/Commissioner/Link Sample
size
FG FF SF Lab AAA-PBP SD GP RI IA O/I
6 December 2016 Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times[p 1][p 2] 1,200 27 30 17 6 3 2 3 [nb 2] 2 10
25 November 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 3][p 4] 1000 25 24 16 5 5 4 3 1 4 12
9 November 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 5] 924 28 30 17 3 3 0 2 0 5 11
27 October 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 6][p 7] 1002 25 26 13 5 9 3 3 0 6 10
23 October 2016[nb 3] Millward Brown/The Sunday Independent[p 8][p 9] 942 29 27 20 8 5 1 2 [nb 4] 5 3
12 October 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 10] 917 26 30 17 5 2 1 2 1 4 11
4 October 2016 Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times[p 11][p 12] 1,200 26 26 19 5 3 2 3 [nb 2] [nb 5] 15
22 September 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 13][p 14] 1,002 25 27 15 7 6 4 2 0 4 10
14 September 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 15] 911 23 28 18 7 4 1 2 0 4 12
27 July 2016 Red C/Paddy Power[p 16][p 17] 1,000 27 28 15 4 4 3 3 0 5 10
13 July 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 18][p 19] 1,004 26 29 13 6 5 4 4 1 5 8
13 July 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 20] 909 25 30 14 6 5 2 2 0 4 12
7 July 2016 Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times[p 21][p 22] 1200 24 33 16 5 2 2 4 [nb 2] 2 11
29 June 2016 Millward Brown/The Sunday Independent[p 23][p 24] 1,000 30 26 20 7 4 2 3 [nb 2] [nb 5] 8
15 June 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 25] 913 25 26 17 5 4 1 3 1 6 11
26 May 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 26] 1,004 26 26 15 6 5 4 2 0 4 11
11 May 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 27][p 28] 898 26 27 16 5 4 2 4 0 7 9
11 May 2016 Red C/Paddy Power[p 29][p 30] 1,015 27 25 16 5 6 4 3 1 3 10
13 April 2016 Behaviour & Attitudes/The Sunday Times[p 31][p 32] 926 23 26 17 4 4 2 3 1 8 12
10 March 2016 Red C/The Sunday Business Post[p 33][p 34] 1,006 27 25 15 4 4 5 3 2 5 9
26 February 2016 General election 25.5 24.3 13.8 6.6 3.9 3.0 2.7 2.2 4.2 13.7

Irish Polls Chart.png

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gerry Adams became National President of Sinn Féin on 13 November 1983, but only became Parliamentary Leader of Sinn Féin once elected to the Dáil for the first time in February 2011. Prior to that the parliamentary leader in the Dáil, 1997–2011 was Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
  2. ^ a b c d Renua is featured in Others.
  3. ^ Publication date - last date of polling not provided.
  4. ^ Renua is not mentioned.
  5. ^ a b The poll makes no distinction between different groupings of Independents, the Independent Alliance is included in the figure for Others.
  1. ^ The 50 seats for Fine Gael includes the outgoing Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett, elected in 2011 for Fine Gael, who was returned automatically.
  2. ^ Seán Ó Fearghaíl was elected as Ceann Comhairle, and is no longer counted as a Fianna Fáil TD.

Opinion poll sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Fianna Fáil pulls ahead of Fine Gael to become most popular party". The Irish Times. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Irish Times Poll Portal". The Irish Times. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "The Difficult Balancing Act for Fianna Fáil – Nov 16 Poll" (PDF). "RED C". Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Difficult Balancing Act for Fianna Fáil – Nov 16 Poll" (PDF). "RED C". Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  5. ^ McShane, Ian (13 November 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes November 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "AAA-PBP surges to record high". The Sunday Business Post. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Are AAA-PBP gains more than just a one off?" (PDF). Red C/The Sunday Business Post. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive poll: Fine Gael sees slip in support despite 'giveaway Budget'". Sunday Independent. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "National Opinion Poll: October 2016" (PDF). Sunday Independent/Millward Brown. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  10. ^ McShane, Ian (12 October 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes October 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Fianna Fáil level with Fine Gael after Seven Point drop in support". The Irish Times. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Irish Times Poll Portal". The Irish Times. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "FF sees support slip for first time since election". The Sunday Business Post. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "No Momentum for Change Helps Govt. Survival Propects" (PDF). Red C/The Sunday Business Post. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  15. ^ McShane, Ian (18 September 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes September 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Four out of 10 people believe Taoiseach should 'quit now' - new Red C poll". Irish Independent. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Fianna Fáil Most Popular Party" (PDF). Paddy Power. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Surge in FF support ratchets up pressure on Kenny". The Sunday Business Post. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll" (PDF). The Sunday Business Post. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  20. ^ McShane, Ian (19 July 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes July 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Massive surge in support for Fianna Fáil, poll shows". The Irish Times. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Irish Times Poll Portal". The Irish Times. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "Poll exclusive: Public confidence in Independents crashes". Sunday Independent. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "National Opinion Poll: June 2016" (PDF). Sunday Independent/Millward Brown. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  25. ^ McShane, Ian (15 June 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes June 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  26. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll" (PDF). The Sunday Business Post. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "Fianna Fáil has overtaken Fine Gael in popularity". The Journal. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  28. ^ McShane, Ian (May 2016). "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes May 2016 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  29. ^ "Paddy Power Red C poll: Voters want Varadkar to replace Kenny". Irish Independent. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  30. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll" (PDF). Paddy Power. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  31. ^ "Fianna Fáil overtakes Fine Gael in latest opinion poll". The Sunday Times. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll" (PDF). The Sunday Times. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  33. ^ "Another general election would produce no major gains for FF or FG". The Sunday Business Post. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  34. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll" (PDF). The Sunday Business Post. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Electoral system IPU
  2. ^ "Constituency Commission Established 14 July 2016". Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Constituency Commission Website". 
  4. ^ "Introduction and summary of recommendations" (PDF). Constituency Commission 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Dáil constituencies where no change is recommended" (PDF). Constituency Commission 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Constitution of Ireland; The National Parliament. Dáil Éireann.". irishstatutebook.ie. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Electoral Act, 1992; Part VI. Duration and Membership of Dáil.". irishstatutebook.ie. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Electoral Act, 1992; Part XVII. The Poll.". irishstatutebook.ie. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Electoral Act, 1992; Part I. General.". irishstatutebook.ie. Retrieved 13 March 2016.